5 May 2014

A Letter To Our Readers

By Marni Cordell

After seven years as editor and nearly four as publisher, Marni Cordell is moving on from New Matilda. In the following letter to readers, she explains what's next for the publication

Dear readers,

I’ve come to the sad decision that I can no longer continue running New Matilda.

As the sole owner of the business that publishes the site, as well as its editor, I really feel the weight of this decision. I realise it probably means the end of NM.

Late last year I decided it was time to hand the site on to the next generation of editors and since January I haven’t been taking a regular wage. Instead, I’ve been investing the income from our paid subscribers into our younger staff, with the hope that this would give NM its best chance of survival into the future.

However, recently key staff have been poached by outlets that are able to pay much more than we are. That’s put NM in a position that it can’t recover from. It’s time for me to move on to a more stable job. I can’t afford another year.

I love New Matilda and the community of readers and subscribers who make it possible. Gideon Haigh once described the site as “an experiment in how cheaply a news outlet can run”, and I think he summed up its spirit perfectly.

In the face of a declining industry and with the help of hundreds of ordinary funders, we’ve made that experiment work, and published some ground-breaking journalism along the way.

It’s been an amazing ride, and for the past four years I’ve scrimped and saved to keep NM online because I’m a sucker for independent media — the way that it pushes the boundaries of acceptable debate, publishes stories no one else will touch, and takes a punt on new writers when the majors won’t. Now more than ever, that feels so important.

In the past four years our readership has doubled and our subscriber base is the strongest it’s ever been. New Matilda is certainly not a failed venture. If anything, it’s a victim of its own success. We’re a small operation that can’t afford to compete with our larger competitors for staff and writers. A high churn rate is a fact of life for small publishers — but as the media environment changes, hanging on to good people is getting harder than ever.

I'd like to thank our paid subscribers for their generosity and faith in our work — from our very first crowdfunding efforts in 2010 until now. We will be in direct contact with you over the next week with more information, and hope to offer you as many perks as we can, as well as all the details you need to wrap up your monthly subscriptions.

I also need to acknowledge the efforts of hundreds of people who have given their labour for free, including many of our writers, our contributing editor Wendy Bacon, economics writer Ian McAuley and regular cartoonist Lindsay Foyle. Without them NM would not have lasted as long as it has.

If anyone has a serious business proposal for taking over the site I’m open to receiving them for this week only at marniATnewmatilda.com. Only those with a commitment to keeping NM’s archive of content online for the foreseeable future will be considered.

If no one comes forward in that short period of time, we will continue publishing through the federal budget next week. After that the site will be archived. It will be Ben Eltham’s last trip to Canberra for NM, so make sure you stick around.

This August would have been NM’s 10th birthday. It’s sad we won’t make it, but there is so much to celebrate in the nearly 10 years worth of independent journalism that we’ve had. I hope you’ll join me in doing that. So here’s to you: our contributors, financial supporters and readers, who have made this independent media outlet possible, against all the odds.

Marni Cordell
Editor

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hannahs dad
Posted Monday, May 5, 2014 - 14:01

I have been critical of NM articles in the past but within a context that they are usually among the best around  and always worth reading.

Thank you for those opportunities and do not doubt you and your colleagues have done well.

KathODonnell
Posted Monday, May 5, 2014 - 14:10

well done on all your work. it will be sad to see the site go

This user is a New Matilda supporter. GarryB
Posted Monday, May 5, 2014 - 16:02

Don't go New Matilda. That would just be too terrible. I have enjoyed your detailed, serious analysis and alternative points of view to a media saturated with rightist guff.

I value you very highly and applaud all the work that has gone into your wonderful product. I desperately hope you can somehow continue, although not at the risk of penury. Sad that people have moved on to the lure of more money instead of remaining loyal and steadfast.

Best wishes and thanks.

savidg
Posted Monday, May 5, 2014 - 17:05

Why not allow a New Matilda Co-operative to be formed to raise funds and take over the ownership of New Matilda? It could not be achieved within a week.

David Griffiths
Secretary
Co-operatives Victoria

This user is a New Matilda supporter. RossC
Posted Monday, May 5, 2014 - 17:20

This is very sad news Marni, but independant media like NM can only survive if people are prepared to pay for it. It seems that not enough are, sadly. That NM is so hated by some MSM adds more lead to the saddlebags, but also validates it's very existence.

Good luck with your future ventures.

I'm keeping the NM candle alight in the hope that something else might still come of it.

amphibious
Posted Monday, May 5, 2014 - 20:37

So sorry to see the demise of this wonderful antidote to the sludge & mendacity of the MSM. I wish that I could have subscribed but "money's to tight to mention".

If however some sort of appeal or crowd funding does eventuate, I'll scrape up the pennies somehow. Too valuable to lose.

Marni, good luck in your next venture

davidrobie
Posted Monday, May 5, 2014 - 23:30

Marni,

So sorry it has come to this - and so close to the decade mark as well. What a huge contribution you and your team, including Wendy Bacon, have made to independent journalism over the years. I am saddened that this publication will no longer be with us. I hope some 11th hour saviour emerges.

All the bst for the future.

David Robie
Pacific Media Centre

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Peterhorse
Posted Monday, May 5, 2014 - 23:50

I'm with amphibious! I'm trying to make ends meet on a pension and can ill afford a full regular subscription, but if a crowd-sourcing or nano-transaction model could save the publication I'd gladly participate!  New Matilda has been a lifeline to some sort of sanity in political discourse in this country and would be sorely missed.

If its too late to contemplate these alternatives, then my heartfelt congratulations Marnie on what you have achieved and the light you have thown on Australian society.  Yours and that of the whole NM team has been  great contribution, and I wish you all the best for the future.

NM will be sorely missed,

Peter

DrGideonPolya
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 06:58

New Matilda will be sorely missed. New Matilda was an excellent web magazine in a neoliberal-dominated, look-the-other-way, Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI)-subverrted, US lackey  Lib-Lab-ruled country with substantially foreign-owned Mainstream media committed to censorship,  lying by omission and lying by commission.

As a widely-published 5-decade career scientist who has tried to provide science-informed advice to fellow Australians, New Matilda was remarkable (together with Green Left Weekly) for not censoring  such informed  comments that are otherwise censored by Mainstream media in Australia.

The consequences of craven Australian Mainstream media censorship is that Australia has lost its independence (see the report on former PM Malcolm Fraser's views entitled "Malcolm Fraser warsn Australia risks war with China unless US military ties cut back", Sydney Morning Herald", 25 April 2014: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/malcolm-fraser-warns-australia-risks-war-with-china-unless-us-military-ties-cut-back-20140425-zqz8p.html  ) and Australia is locked into world-leading per capota greenhouse gas pollution in a world in which it is almost too late to avoid catastrophic global warming (see Gideon Polya, “Australia 's Huge Coal, Gas & Iron Ore Exports Threaten Planet”, Countercurrents, 15 May 2012: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya150512.htm ; Gideon Polya,  " Doha climate change inaction. Only 5 years left to act", MWC News, 9 December 2012: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/23373-gideonpolya-climate-change.html ;  “Are we doomed? Too late to save earth?", 300.org: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/are-we-doomed ; and "2011 climate change course":https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/2011-climate-change-course ).

As Australia heads for disaster (for history repeating itself  see Gideon Polya, ""Forgotten" anti-war book review: "God's Fifth  Column" by William Gerhardie", Bellaciao, 5 May 2014: http://bellaciao.org/en/spip.php?article23128  ) it is woth noting the appalling complicity of lying Mainstream media: “Boycott Murdoch media”: https://sites.google.com/site/boycottmurdochmedia/  ; “Censorship by the BBC”: https://sites.google.com/site/censorshipbythebbc/  ; “Censorship by The Conversation”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/censorship-by  ; “Mainstream media censorship”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/home  ; “Mainstream media lying”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammedialying/  ; “Censorship by The Age”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/censorship-by-the-age ; “Censorship by ABC Late Night Live”: https://sites.google.com/site/censorshipbyabclatenightlive/  , "Censorship by ABC Saturday Extra": https://sites.google.com/site/censorshipbyabclatenightlive/censorship-by-abc-sat and “ABC fact-checking unit & incorrect reportage by the ABC (Australia’s BBC)”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/abc-fact-checking-unit ., "Censorship by The Guardian UK": https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/censorship-by-the-guardian-uk and "Censorship by The Guardian Australia": https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/-censorship-by-the-guardian .

Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. Vale New Matilda. Poor fellow my country.

 

 

 

gregdickson
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 13:33

You're hard work has been so greatly appreciated by so many and taken for granted by so many more. Thank you Marni!

This user is a New Matilda supporter. M.R.
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 13:39

What a pity there weren't more journo.s like you, prepared to work for less, Marni. Which seems to make it all devolve upon small outlay, when of course that wouldn't enter the picture if enough readers were prepared to pay - which they weren't.

We get what we deserve, then: the loss of a marvellous alternative news source because not enough of us would stump up.

Serves us bloody right.

HiroyaSugita
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 13:43

It has been my joy to read artcles on New Matilda.

It is sad to see the site would be closed.

I thank Marni and other staff & contributors for tremendous effort.

I do wish everone, especially Marni, very bright future.

Jazzmaster_George
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 13:52

Terrible loss.  Re: subscribing, I tried several times over the last several months to subscribe.  The monthly option seemed to have gone, and no paypal option.  It just wasn't easy enough to make a payment. 

Marga
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 13:59

Sorry to see NM go.

I have sometimes been critical but also enjoyed the discussions.

I wish you - Marni - and your colleagues all the best in your new venture

Alpal
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 14:27

Being a subscriber since Day 1 of NM I have found it a constant source of inspiration, encouragement and delight.

Marni, you and your crew are greatly to be admired for what you have achieved through your skill, tenacity and courage.

The voices and the wisdom you have brought to our attention have been much valued and will be sorely missed.

I send my good wishes for whatever emerges for you and look forward to seeing your presence again on things that matter.

Go well

Alan Stewart
Adelaide

russellgoldflam
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 15:14

I join with the many others who have commented in paying tribute to the tireless work of the NM team, and in particular Marni Cordell over the last (almost) ten years.  Good old New Matilda will be sadly missed, an unflinchingly independent voice which has insistently made itself heard amidst the shrill noise of the mainstream media.  Thank you!

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Lyn
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 15:49

Terrible news. Rarely post but always felt better when so reading  the posts that agreed with my ideas. Got me through the bad times so what now that the rabid right wingers are in charge?

philipsaxon
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 16:30

Dear Marni/New Matilda. I read the articles without a thought of the logistics behind them. I somehow imagined a huge team , sun-shaded and chain smoking  a la the cinema portrail. It takes your N.M. demise for me to learn something of the reality. So, so sorry that this is the end. I'm somewhat annoyed to learn some read but did not subscribe. My God!. 

The very best to you. I hope the heartbreak ends quickly.

 

Accent
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 17:38

Bummer! 

Wish you all the best and hope there is an open-minded benefactor in the wings.

We need much more courageous media like NM.

martyns
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 17:49

Dear Marni,

Thanks for all your dedication and hard work. I wish you and the staff the very best for the future. I've no doubt your talents will be in great demand with a CV of having run a first class website. Like the other correspondents, I'll miss you,

Kind regards,

Martyn

Dufa
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 18:29

Dear Ms Cordell
This must have been a tough letter to write. Thank-you for letting us know.
I am sad to learn that it has come to this. Please keep us informed of any practical options to sustain this excellent journal. The media landscape in Australia is so dominated and diminished by blinkered, neoliberal, angosaxon clap-trap that it has become almost unreadable, unlistenable and unwatchable. NewMatilda has been one of a few exceptions. My grateful thanks to you, your staff, Ms Bacon and your many excellent correspondents for all your good work. What is to be done?
Dufa Wira
Pensioner

jezzaG
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 18:59

Bugger, I've only just recently found you.. Massive shame and hope something turns up.

 

robbieswan
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 19:37

Why do the good die young? In publishing, its almost an axiom. But better to end with a bang than a whimper I reckon.

The spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle says that nobody ever reached enlightenment from winning the lottery or adding more to their lives but plenty of people experienced a major shift in consciousness when they lost everything. If NM goes, there will be a huge void in the publishing world, like a black hole. Things will be sucked into it and people looking for intelligent current affairs will be able to point to it and say 'she was once a supernova'. 

No doubt the Bolthole media wil rejoice and say that there's not enough people to support progressive publishing. But they better watch their arses because many of them are skating on thin ice at the moment. And when they go, it gets really ugly. 

Marni and the staff at NM can hold their heads really high. You created a truly original commentary on Australian politics that will be hard for anyone else to emulate. As the editor and co-founder of the original Matilda magazine in the mid 1980s, we sold our soul when we ended up in this position, taking ads from cigarette companies and all manner of things. It didn't help. You guys have been principled and heroic in the face of mogul-media and Marni, you deserve a gong for services to publishing....as long as you hand it back! 

Thanks for the memories. 

Nipter
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 22:13

As a consistent reader, I hope for some form of resurrection it would be a pity to lose NM.

con vaitsas
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 22:38

I feel guilty for not having subscribed. Of course we need independant news reports that dont feel they have to tread lightly in case they offend an advertiser, mate or some other entity somewhere along the line. The articles on NM have alays been 'educational' in that we were able to get a different and or more truthful perspective about some of the stories doing the rounds in the media and of course we got to read about issues no one else was giving much or any coverage to. Some of the reporters I read here were excellent and at any other time in teh past would have been able to get a paid job with a newspaper but alas today we are seeing less of them.

We all need to subscribe to a few of the real paper or online news journals that still matter or else they will go and we will be left with News Corp style journalism

 

This user is a New Matilda supporter. chrisdoonan
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 00:18

I have subscribed in the past, but arent at the moment, I would be happy to subscribe again if it would help to keep New Matilda going

willisss
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 01:16

I really wish I could have contributed more to NM, considering the wealth of knowledge I've taken away from here. Thank you Marni for making this site a reality for so long.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. aussiegreg
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 07:47

Dear Marni

My commiserations at this terrible blow, and my heartfelt thanks for the gift of independent journalism your extraordinary self-sacrifice has provided. Perhaps you could follow the editor of the original Matilda Magazine (see Robbie Swan's post above) into the porn industry… (Just joking, but you could do worse than follow him into politics – after all, if a fax machine had been working he would now be a Senator for the Sex Party from Tasmania!)

I regret that my impecunious circumstances have prevented me from making a greater financial contribution than the minimum subscription, but if someone gets a cooperative going I would gladly join (if only as the token small-l liberal among the socialists!).

jennyn
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 09:17

I am really sorry to hear you may close.  I always look forward to my newsletter from New Matilda because your writers always write something substantial, informative and giving food for thought.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. dazza
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 11:38

I much regret the passing of NM, which has been at times a real breath of fresh air into the stultifying media of Australia. I do consider that the Very srtrong aversion to printing anything even slightly censorious of Zionism and reactionary/fundamenalist  Jewism has been injurious to real open joiurnalism, but NM has not been alone in that, the Zionist Lobbies have been very active and nasty throughout all Media.  Fear is infectious. 

I will sorely miss Ben Eltham, and some of the other regular contributors, eiher writing articles or comments.  One would hope that I can find him on some other web Media in the near future. 

I was not going to renew my NM Subscription this year, as I considered the Censorship to be far too arduous, far too stultifying of intellectul and informed comment.  However, I do regret that NM is to cease publishing,  It could have improved. Maybe it will. 

Bye. 

This user is a New Matilda supporter. outrider
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 14:23

Alas! I have just paid my suscription! But never fear. well overdue.

As of a traditonlist/conservative mind (but not neo-liberal) I was not in tune wjth the opinions expressed in many of the articles. However my comments were always published, even when strongly at variance with the underlyimg ideology of New Matilda.

A brave effort in the new world of dissappearing paper print.

fightmumma
Posted Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 15:37

thanks marni - great news artilces and ideas, your efforts have been appreciated, and have inspired and energised many people.  Good luck and best wishes with whatever you set your eyes on...may it have vision! cheers

This user is a New Matilda supporter. ErikH
Posted Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 22:54

Dear Marnie,

Everyone has already said what I was thinking as I read your letter. A great shame - you will be missed.

Best wishes for whatever your next venture is. The same goes to all at NM. 

Erik

 

 

raenaleashannon
Posted Friday, May 9, 2014 - 15:38

'Listen, late last night, I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi took my girl away
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got 'til it's gone'

Joni Mitchell

Rockjaw
Posted Saturday, May 10, 2014 - 10:55

Ave!

 

To such a strong and courageous woman.

 

May you once again find the wind at your back wherever your destiny takes you.

 

and thanks for your massive effort, your wonderful contributions and for making such a difference to so many.

 

Good luck!!